UFC-Que Choisir et al. v. French State

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January 20, 2023
Not judged
France, Paris

Environmental NGOs, Consumer Protection Organizations, Health/Food groups
UFC-Que Choisir, Générations Futures, Agir Pour l’Environnement, Fédération Nationale d’Agriculture Biologique (FNAB) , Syndicat National des entreprises de l’agroalimentaire bio (Synabio), Bio consom’acteurs, Réseau Environnement Santé
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Council of State of Paris, France

A collective of consumer, environmental and health associations, farmers and organic businesses has referred the matter to the Council of State for misleading consumers as to the compliance of the High Environmental Value (HVE) label with Article L611-6 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code.

A revision of the HVE standard was adopted by the Government in November 2022, with the aim of making it more demanding by Decree No. 2022-1447 and the Order of 18 November 2022. According to the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, 4 themes guide the label: preservation of biodiversity (flowers, insects, trees and hedges), water resource management, fertilisation management and phytosanitary strategy. However, the latest report of the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) in 2022 confirms that the changes to the reference system are not those expected to improve the environmental performance of the label.

Moreover, compliance with the basic rules of the Common Agricultural Policy (PAC) is not mandatory to obtain the label.